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Housework: Should Men Have to Clean the Toilets?

My new podcast is up, and it's all about whether or not to get men involved in housework! Or how to get men involved in housework, if need be!

That's a big debate, isn't it? Should men have to help around the house? Should the woman do it all? What's fair? And what does God ask us to do?

I deal with that a lot in To Love, Honor and Vacuum, and let me tell you that there are no hard and fast rules. So much depends on your family and on the unique circumstances there.

But I do give you some tips on how to figure out a good balance. I can tell you that when my husband was working 120 hours a week, I didn't want him to vacuum when he got home. I wanted him to play with the kids. But at other points in our marriage we worked out other arrangements.

The longer I've been married, the more I find that I do enjoy cooking, so I always do that. But he always pays the bills. And that's one of the problems--when we focus on housework, we often ignore the other things that men do do around the home. They may mow the grass, or care for the bills, or fix stuff. And we don't count that.

Personally, I think everybody should be working roughly equally. If he's working a nine hour day, we should be, too. But we shouldn't be working a 15 hour day if he's only working a 7-hour day. It just makes us too exhausted and builds a bunch of resentment.

I've been over to many women's homes where the men sit there, just talking, for an hour and a half while the women prepare all the food and try to balance the children. If the men have been working all day and are now just relaxing, that's one thing. But if it's on a Sunday lunch and everybody's been doing the samething all day, that's quite another. I'm not sure it's always a great idea for men to get off scot free when it comes to caring for the home, and I certainly don't think it sets a good example for the kids. Men may not want to cook--it may not be their thing. But there are some things guys can do, and leaving everything to the women is not a great recipe for marital harmony.

But if you're feeling taken for granted, how do you get him involved? And what do you say? That's a bit of what I deal with in this podcast, though more so in my book. But I do believe that we women often undermine ourselves, because when he does try to help, we often criticize. We expect him to be just like us, instead of letting him be a guy and still help. And we also often nag, which is the exact wrong thing to do, both in terms of building a good marriage and in terms of getting his help.

So if you need to try to figure this out, why not listen to my latest podcast? It's just six minutes long, and gives you some things to think about.

And if you want to go even deeper into the subject, you can pick up To Love, Honor and Vacuum: When you feel more like a maid than a wife and a mother!

Now, why don't you leave a comment and tell how you work it out in your house!

To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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At 11:58 AM , Anonymous Amy said…

I so needed this post today. I recently went back to work part-time after staying home for over 6 years. My husband has always been the "clean freak" and I have let him do everything even when I was home full time. I decided to quit my job yesterday because the stress it was bringing to me and my family was just not worth it. My husband was nothing but supportive. I want to stay home and take care of the house and my husband and children. I want our house to be his "castle" and safe haven from the world. It will be hard to get into the swing of things but I feel that we do too often forget all of the things our husbands do for our families. Our society sure doesn't teach us how to appreciate them. Thank you for your post and you can bet I will be buying this book!!!!


At 12:05 PM , Blogger Katy said…

For us, he works all day...and I am a SAH-homeschooling Mom....and I prefer to do all the cooking, cleaning etc. He still does things around the house when he gets home...installing our new wood burner, fixing this...doing that etc. He feeds the animals etc.....and when I am fixing supper or doing things in the evening and he is free...he helps with the kids. We work it out really well.

For myself...being a housewife means having the house clean before my honey gets I don't feel like he should feel like he needs to do any of that! :)


At 6:04 PM , Blogger Tracey said…

We both work...we divide and clean...he does outside and bathrooms I do inside and laundry...he'll start some things like the dishwasher and I'll put them away...would be different if I was a SHM


At 1:44 PM , Blogger Mrs. Querido said…

I do the housework and he does the outside work. He is also the provider for the family and I am the SAHM. However, if he sees a need for something being cleaned (because he is the clean freak of the family) he just does it. We've never really had fights over who does what. Maybe we're just!


At 10:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said…

Currently I am an unmarried man. But I love to do housework. After my marriage, I am going to do as much housework I can do like cooking, dusting, vaccuming, laundry, dishes especially which is laborious and dirty, like cleaning toilets, bathrooms etc. I would like to keep my wife as happy as possible. nice to see your blog

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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